Autumn Gardening Holiday        

October 12th - 17th  2014

Alan Clark’s Rhododendron Nursery
This nursery is run by the renowned plant hunter Alan Clark and specialises in rhododendrons - at the last count the collection comprised nearly 600 varieties.  Many have been grown from seed collected in the wild and it is a sad fact that due to population pressures many are now becoming highly endangered in the wild.  A wide range of popular hybrids are also grown with sizes to suit any garden with acidic soil.  Plants can be purchased during your visit.

Hazel Cottage, Armathwaite.
Created by two flower arrangers and nestling in the Eden Valley, this delightful 5 acre garden is a plants person’s paradise.  Features include herbaceous borders, a pergola, ponds and a disused railway siding teeming with plants and wildlife which runs up to the famous Settle to Carlisle line.  Planted for all seasons the garden contains many variegated and unusual plants and plants are usually available to buy.

Quarry Hill House, Mealsgate, Wigton
The home of Mr and Mrs Charles Woodhouse,  Quarry Hill House is a country house set in a three acre parkland setting.  There is a woodland garden with good views, herbaceous borders, trees, shrubs, a potager vegetable garden plus an extensively planted arboretum with many specimen trees, especially varieties of Sorbus which at this time of year should be starting to display their autumn colours.  

Windy Hall, Windermere
This four acre fellside garden on the hills outside Windermere is the creation of David Kinsman (a geologist) and his wife Diane Hewitt (an ecologist).  The two acre woodland garden has many species of rhododendron, camellias, magnolias and hydrangeas.  An ancient small quarry has been made into a Japanese-style area of moss, ferns and stone.  Other features include a wildflower meadow, kitchen garden, moss path and a wildfowl garden with gunneras and stewartias.  The garden is home to two National Collections, namely Aruncus and Filpendula.

Newton Rigg College Gardens, Penrith
The gardens and grounds of this Horticultural college include many interesting features including herbaceous borders, ponds, an organic garden, a pleached hornbeam walk, a woodland walk, arboretum and an extensive range of ornamental trees and shrubs.  The gardens are an invaluable outdoor laboratory for the students at the college and we will be given a guided tour by a member of the horticultural department.

Church View, Appleby
The garden of Mrs H. Holmes is a modern cottage garden designed and maintained by Ian Huckman.  The main garden is on a gently sloping site which is easily accessible via the gravel paths.  Recently featured in ‘Cumbria Life’, the garden has been extended to include a kitchen garden with the purchase of the adjoining cottage and its land.  Through Ian’s choice of plants and intelligent planting style this garden has interest throughout the year including bulbs in spring, lush herbaceous plantings to delight in June and late perennials and graceful grasses to provide joy for wildlife and people well into autumn.

Illustrated talk on plant hunting with Alan Clark

Alan’s talk will feature the highlights and the set backs experienced during his many plant hunting expeditions in China, India, Tibet and Vietnam.  The major flower types will be discussed and questions will be welcome at the end.

Gardeners Question Time

A chance to seek answers to any gardening problems with David Haigh, and guest Peter Smith. 
Now retired, Peter is a volunteer at Holehird Gardens and started his career in Edinburgh Botanic gardens.  He has worked as a Landscape Architect in Hong Kong and was Head of the Environmental Improvement team in Rochdale for the last 15 years of his career.



David Haigh has been in horticulture all his working life, 30 years of which were spent in horticultural education.  His last post was as Head of horticulture at Newton Rigg College, near Penrith.  He is a holder of the Royal Horticultural Societies ‘Master of Horticulture’ qualification.  Now semi-retired, he divides his time between freelance garden writing, running practical training courses and hosting garden holidays.  To keep his hands dirty he tends two allotments where he grows a wide range of crops.  His other great passion is cooking and this usually involves using the produce from his crops.


The 5-night holiday runs from Sunday evening through to Friday morning and all prices are per person and include full English breakfast, morning coffee, 3 course dinner and VAT @ 20% for the 5 night stay.


Non-participating partners
are welcome, and the cost for them is £30 less than above.

We ask for a deposit of £150 per person for the 5-night holiday, which can be made by cheque or credit card. This is non-refundable unless the room is subsequently relet, and cancellation insurance is available.



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